The Major League baseball season is past the ¾ mark, heading into the home stretch with most teams having fewer than 30 games remaining on the schedule. Unfortunately, for Kansas City, the campaign has effectively come to an end. If you don’t believe it, do the math.
The Royals roller-coaster season continues. After a wonderful stretch in which they defied my prediction of imminent collapse, teased us by going on an extended winning streak and worked their way into the wild card discussion, they went into a seven game slide that probably kiboshed their post-season hopes for this year. They have since returned to form, winning their most recent five games including a 3-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins at their place, but it might be too little, too late.
At 69-64, the Royals find themselves not mathematically eliminated, but realistically eliminated, barring an unforeseen collapse by teams ahead of them in the wild card standings.
The wild card represents KCs best shot at the post-season as they trail the wild card race by 6 games but trail division-leading Detroit by 8.5.
There are only 29 games left on the schedule. The Royals play about ½ those games against teams above .500 and about ½ against teams below .500, so they have about an average strength of schedule remaining.
Let’s say they regain some traction and go 20-9 in their remaining games. That would actually be a herculean feat, but let’s say they go wild and win 20 more games. The team that currently claims the final wild card spot, the Oakland Athletics, has a record of 75-58. They only have to win 15 of their final 29 games to stay ahead of the Royals, assuming 20 additional Royals’ wins—and 20 of those games are against teams currently below .500.
And even if the Royals do manage somehow to manufacture 20 more wins AND somehow Oakland stubs their toe and loses 20+ games, there are still other teams between the Royals and the A’s (Indians, Orioles and Yankees) all of whom would ALSO have to collapse before the Royals could squeak into the final wild card spot.
No, it doesn’t look promising for the Royals this season, as far as qualifying for the post-season is concerned.
The team did manage to do something no Royals team has done in recent seasons— they played meaningful games in August. The problem is, they lost them.
I expect the Royals will make their annual meaningless September surge. They remind me of that kid in the 2-mile race at a track meet who sprints the last 100m furiously—so he can end up in 14th place instead of 16th.
The Royals are still fun to watch, although as the season has worn on and things have gone south, I have noticed a definite lack of the boyish enthusiasm that characterized their demeanor in the first half of the season. The loss of Miguel Tejada to injuries and PEDs appears to have hurt more than just the Royals offense, as he was the only middle infielder they had who was hitting a lick. It appears to also have impacted their morale.
Page 2 of 2 - So the Royals are not going to make the playoffs this year— unless of course they have simply been waiting for me to make another dire prediction just so they can go nuts and prove me wrong again. If that’s the case, I will gladly admit I was incorrect once mo